Russia is planning to start its own satellite internet service called “Sphere”. It is still a few years away though and not scheduled to launch until at least 2024.
To make sure Russian citizens don’t get too comfortable with the competition, the country’s legislative body is considering fines for users of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service.
The fines being considered range could be levied against both individuals and companies. If found using Starlink, fines for individuals could be between 10,000 to 30,000 rubles ($175-$520 CAD).
If a company is found using the service, the fines could jump to as high as 500,000 to 1 million rubles ($8,650 to $5,190 CAD), reports the Russian edition of Popular Mechanics.
According to a translation of the article by Ars Technica, Russia’s legislative body known as the State Duma contends that accessing the service bypasses the country’s systems that monitor internet use and mobile communications. Currently all internet traffic in Russia must pass through a domestic communication provider.